Read here DALSTON NOIR #1 Trouble on Kingsland Road
Keeping an eye on Costa Coffee, Egon quickly takes out his iPhone5, which he had found in a bar one night and managed to unlock. The light wasn’t great for photography but he didn’t intent to post the crime-scene pictures on Instagram.
Poor dog, what an end to a life filled with adversity and struggle. He makes a pledge there and then to find out who killed him, because in his mind there was no question that this had been a dogcide. A suspicion which is confirmed when he sees what looks like a stabbing wound on the dog’s right rib cage, very close to what must be the heart, Egon figures.
The stern police-woman’s superior is leaving Costa, heading for them and Egon decides it is high time to disappear in the crowd.
The purple-haired lady is nowhere to be seen and Egon is almost about to give up on her when he spots the little bent figure disappearing around the corner into Tottenham Road, passing by the Job Center. Egon wonders whether she’ll go inside but she carries on.
Last thing he heard, they now made the poor unemployed, or job-seekers as they were officially called, come into the Job Centre every day. The £60 per week was indeed hard-earned. And not only that, they made them take courses On How To Search Jobs Online, basically forcing them to apply for jobs. What had the world come to? Why couldn’t they just leave the work-shy alone? Most unemployed were able to work and able to find it if they really wanted. The fact that they didn’t was because they didn’t want one. Something Egon in his heart of hearts could emphasise with. Only why hadn’t the Job Centre figured it out yet?
But he was meandering, there was a case which needed his immediate attention. The old lady was walking quite fast for someone he reckoned was at least 80 years old. She kept on looking over her shoulder and Egon mingles with the unemployed crowd when he sees her entering a block of flats facing the school nearby.
Egon notices several flats in the building and can’t make out which is hers. He is about to leave when the door opens and plum-flamed hair appears over an astonishingly young-looking face, ‘Are you following me?’ Egon blushes and stammers. ‘Yes… no…’, then summons his courage, ‘I saw you at the accident and was hoping maybe you might shine some light on the dog’s death’ ‘It was a She’, the old lady whispers conspiratorially and looks as if she’d already said too much. ‘Did you know Her?’ The lady hesitates, her little eyes darting anxiously about, then she motions Egon inside.
He follows her up a flight of stairs into a cozy and somewhat chintzy place. Not being asked to sit down, Egon leans nonchalantly against the kitchen door frame.
‘What is it you want to know? ‘She turns around and suddenly doesn’t look as benevolent as before.
‘I saw the crime scene and some things struck me as odd.’
’Why do you care about the death of a dog?, and adding more vehemently, ‘What was she to you?’
Egon doesn’t really have an answer and starts thinking this might have been a really silly idea and yes, why does he care? To buy himself some time he pushes his glasses further up his nose. He doesn’t really need them as he’s only minimally short-sighted but on days like today he wears them for extra weightiness.
His gaze wanders over the crocheted cushions and freezes on the framed picture of a beautiful dog with shiny chestnut hair looking at him, coyly and intrepid at the same time. How come they had these human expressions? Wider emotional range than most actors…
Egon’s thoughts are interrupted by the sudden scent of eucalyptus and lavender enveloping him as the old lady moves close to him, ‘Gilda. That was her name. She disappeared one day and even though I went to the Missing Dogs Bureau and they investigated, there wasn’t a trace of her.’
Feeling somewhat nauseous Egon steps aside, his personal space has been invaded and he struggles to think clearly. It would be very difficult to find a dog in a city, especially if the dog in question didn’t want to be found. And why had she disappeared in the first place?
As if guessing his thoughts, the face of the lady hardens. A muted ringtone comes from inside her bag but she ignores it and keeps looking at him.
Egon knew it was time to go but he also knew from the crime novels he had read that detectives never leave without bait and he quickly writes his number on the back of a Sainsbury’s receipt he finds in his pocket. ‘In case you think of something’, he mumbles on his way out.
Walking home afterwards, he feels more mystified than before. What exactly had been Gilda’s relationship with the old lady? And how come she had been there when Gilda was found? Very odd, he thought. She must know more than she lets on. Egon’s head is buzzing with questions which only brings up more questions and he knows it’s time for a cup of tea.